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Could a child with ASD be able to do these things?

(31 Posts)
mysonben Fri 05-Jun-09 16:02:25

A few weeks ago i was thinking 'yes' all of ds'problems with speech, socialisation ,play and behaviors are ASD traits.

Now i 've changed route and i'm looking at all the 'normal ' things ds does and really wonders whether a child with mild ASD could be doing these. Maybe i'm fooling myself in false hope...

What do you ladies think? Please tell me if any of you has a dc about the same age as my ds (3y7m) with a dx of mild ASD , are they able to do the following? ( if they are then obviously i 'm kidding myself into pointless hope)

Lately DS ' speech has improved , ok he will repeat a lot of phrases but they are very often in the right context ( he still insits on asking each time he hears one about noises like car engines, motorbikes , planes... he has been doing this for about 5 -6 months ), and he still goes on at every opportunity about vehicles from his books or the tv,... but he has made short comments about numerous other things , he has brought my attention when dd (13 m) was up to no good opening the kitchen cupboard, he likes to help me watering the plants in the garden , on several occasions hehas asked a few 'why' questions, i have seen him pretending to be on a plane , or made his little people talk ( not proper sentences mainly gibberish but a proggress in imaginative play), he hasn't gor rigid routines only a few rituels with the toilet and at diner time, he is sensitive to some noises but it isn't consistent.
Also he is now very responsive to his name , and at what is been say around him, (not so good when he is very focused on something or when he is in a group.) At nursery he engages withe other kids a lot better evn if he still plays quite a bit alone with the vehicles , he isn't a loner anymore, he evn has got a friend!
What i'm trying to say is ok he still has a passion with his vehicles and could play with the same toy for several hours for several days , but he tries other things now and he likes us to play with him (we played robots with his bricks the other day), he often calls us to show us his car books or his puzzles when he's finished them , ...

Do you think he may not have ASD because he 's doing all these new things?
I have in my mind that ASD kids couldn't do these things. Correct me if i'm wrong because i don't want to feed myself some false hope for too long.
What are your views ? Thank you.

Greensleeves Fri 05-Jun-09 16:13:28

My 6yo ds has Aspergers (diagnosed a few weeks ago!) and did all of the things you describe. He can play imaginative games, very elaborate ones, although they tend to revolve around his obsessions (trains, rollercoasters, the computer, science). He is very articulate and speaks appropriately, (although he can be very repetitive and stylised in his choice of topics and way of expressing himself). He is very affectionate and craves attention from me and dh, loves to be played with and tickled and loves hugs etc, although that didn't happen until I sat down with him and taught him how and why we do hugs and kisses, when he was about 2.6. He does avoid eye contact - paediatricians have found this strikingly obvious when they've met him - and has odd and distinctive body language and gait. He has trouble recognising contexts and matching appropriate behaviour/volume to the situation he is in - he doesn't pick up non-verbal cues or notice indicators that other hcildren would find obvious - eg, all the other children sitting on the carpet may not indicate to him that he should be sitting down. His social difficulties arise mainly from his intense obsessions and single-mindedness - other children find him exhausting and inflexible. But he is not a withdrawn child and cares very much about his peers and their regard for him.

I've done several years of the "is he isn't he" thing - it's very stressful. If I can help in any way I'd be more than happy to.xx

Greensleeves Fri 05-Jun-09 16:14:26

....oh, and the "why questions" are CONSTANT. Relentless grin

MannyMoeAndJack Fri 05-Jun-09 16:29:25

It's great that your ds can do so many things, it's all good progress.

To answer your OP, I always tend to think that it's what a child cannot do, rather than what they can do, that gets them a particular dx. Are there things of an age appropriate nature that your ds's peers all do which he cannot?

The ASD spectrum seems to very broad in that it encompasses a wide range of ability profiles. My ds has no routines, no rituals, doesn't notice/care about change, is flexible and adaptable and is very affectionate. But he has SLD, is non-verbal, can never be trusted and so on.

mysonben Fri 05-Jun-09 16:32:49

Thank you , that was helpful. I think i'm going through this phase at looking at all these things he does now and can't help but wonder because i hve never seen or meet any other child with mild ASD (only know one older child who has severe autism).

So i'm left with little idea of what mild ASD kids can do really.
Obsiously my ds is well behind his peers at nursery but i won't look at how behind he is for his speech , social skills , play because it always sadden too much.

mysonben Fri 05-Jun-09 16:48:27

Mannymoeandjack- Yes my ds is 3y7m and has the speech of a 2 y old , he has trouble with receptive language too , he was also very clumsy up until his 3rd b/day , he 'd run like! Now he's better but he still can go down the stairs properly i mean he puts one foot down on one step then bring the other foot on that step, kwim? He cannot /is scared of riding a bike with stabilisers.
He is messy when eating and a fuusy eater (doesn't like hard food) and we end up feeding him 70 % of the time because he just sit there playing with his food. He is a bit behind with selfcare, like undressing and dressing , has trouble putting his shoes (velcro) on , have not attempted buttons or zip yet.
His play skills are limited and not much varied , although he can imitate what other are doing . But he can spend a long long time with the same toy , and often notices small deatails that shouldn't matter to a child his age.

bubblagirl Fri 05-Jun-09 16:49:34

again mild ASD can affect children differently to others some manage to socialise and communicate with others but still have there own needs and interests that can over take things or some still tend to prefer to be alone

my ds has HFA makes me look at whatever he's doing has great shared interest at home , communicates his needs now, speech has improved

will play in small group falls to pieces in large groups , has limited pretend play but will make up something such as a lolly with pegs on was a cat toast was plane

tends to prefer to do his own thing but longs to play with others just doesn't know how

very good with numbers and math excels in this area

mysonben Fri 05-Jun-09 16:53:45

Thanks bubbagirl- my ds hasn't got anything he excells at other than his huge attention to details when it comes to vehicles. He is only 3 and 1/2 but he can count to 15 and recgonise these numbers. Not much but most kids in his nursery can only count to 10 at the most and don't recognise numbers yet.

bubblagirl Fri 05-Jun-09 17:00:13

my ds is just 4 and we found out from the start he was high functioning because of his numbers letters and shapes

you have bright spark yourself my ds just obsessed with what he knew as his speech didnt come along properly until 3.6 and has improved hugley in last 6 mths he has atypical speech sounds but his understanding of speech has improved too

mysonben Fri 05-Jun-09 17:00:16

Bubblagirl- my ds has that problem too he 's ok in a small group and can follow commands but in a large group he is withdrawn , and anxious , and sometimes uncooperative. I saw that clearly when i went to observe him for a few hours at his nursery.
The teacher had to remind him what to do quite a lot ! wink

bubblagirl Fri 05-Jun-09 17:03:06

in all honesty to outside world who don't know him there would be no reason they would know he was different only his speech

if he melts down etc you can tell but his differences are seen in pre school setting following commands communicating and socialising the desire to do it is there he just cant

but to anyone else he looks and can act like any other 4 yr old just appears shy

in pre school setting or large group setting he is obviously different and can stand out more

mumslife Fri 05-Jun-09 20:27:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SheWhoMustBeIgnored Fri 05-Jun-09 21:40:55

sorry to hijack blush but what classes it as high functioning. ds1 is non verbal but he learnt to point in december he is 2.9 now. this was when i found out he knows his numbers 1-10 he can arrange number cards in the corect order. he can point to letters lower and upper cases when asked and knows basic shapes.

mysonben Fri 05-Jun-09 22:00:13

hMMM, I believe that HFA tends to be verbal by the age of 3.5 to 5 years old, and presents less severe behaviors, they have a better understanding of the NT world in general and often have a skill in which they are very good at.
It's all a bit confusing sometimes , some kid can be dx with HFA at an early age , then it changes to AS later on ,... but i think it has to do with what age their speech developed .

mumsobusy Fri 05-Jun-09 22:07:08

I suspected my ds3.10 had aspergers he also did most of things like your ds mumlife does not know how to play is single minded, very fussy eater will only eat 5-6 things hates changes has to have routine watches the same video (the same sceen)for hours over and over again does not like costumes on people or hats will only wear certain clothes just jeans and has meltdowns counts and recognises 1-20 and also recognises numbers upto 100 recognises alphabet speaks 2 languages but because he has eye contact and is socialable the psychologist does not believe he has aspergers

bubblagirl Sat 06-Jun-09 09:05:09

my ds is HFA with delayed speech and atypical speech sounds

he was found to be HFA from how he performed the asked tasks throughout observations and MDA assessment

his actions are more copied than knowing his social skills are terrible and gradually with help they are improving i wouldnt say less severe behaviors as we had terrible time although most is sleep related cant wind down to get to sleep so has melatonin to help now

his understanding is improving but has taken along time to get there has no danger awareness

its more how i beleive ds made sure his blocks and towers were identical to the one they done included exactly the same spaces and everything he has early knowledge of numbers and at 2 new way over 20 by 3 50 and 4 over 100 and can recognise all these numbers and write them and count out the objects to that amount too

he knows his letters and shapes and colours this was all at 2

now he does small math is still very number orientated but again it varies with each child no need or dx will have the same child it all varies you can never say for certain

he cannot play , he is learning how to be like the others nothing has come natural he has to be taught how to lay and interact and request and speak

but he can do math so if you need silent accountant he'll be your man grin

bubblagirl Sat 06-Jun-09 09:11:14

my ds also has sensitivities rocking, chewing, has to run all the time, sensitive to sound and certain touches and material also his understanding of the world is not good but possibly may improve hugely the older he gets he is only 4 he has the ability to learn if taught right with the right help

SheWhoMustBeIgnored Sat 06-Jun-09 12:15:56

bubblagirl my ds sounds very much like yours apart from he does not speak .he has gone from not wanting help with things or adults to join in with what he is playing with to grabbing the nearest adult to come and play with him. but with children his own age he couldnt care less in fact i think he think they just get in his way as he will often push them out of his way. he will follow instructions and seems to want to do things to please people. eg. we are fininshed now its time to tidy up - he will sign finished and help put his toys away. although as his eye contact is getting better and he wants to interact more he is becoming less interested in numbers and puzzles he current interst is animals and will point to them on the tv and i have to name them if he can make a noise for them or sign what they are he does.
he did chew alot but seems to have got out of that phase now it is running in wavy lines round the room.oh and planes he has to point to every plane and if he hears one he goes rushing to the window to find it.
cor i have babbled a bit blush

reducedfatkettlechip Sat 06-Jun-09 14:00:25

We have the same with ds1, he still has no dx as nobody is sure enough that he has anything in particular. His ASD traits are extremely mild (echolalia in context, lying down to play with trains, brief phase of limited eye contact, play largely on own agenda etc)

His language only developed beyond single word level as he approached 3, and now he speaks in jumbled sentences and has a fairly wide vocabulary. He initiates conversation and wants to interact. He never absorbed language easily as a toddler, and had to be actively taught new words. At 2, he recognised numbers and letters, read several words, could count, recognise colours and shapes. He's still ahead for his age in these areas but not especially so.

ds1 has always been affectionate and engaging, and generally prefers company to being alone. He plays properly with a range of toys, likes trains and vehicles but not to an obsessional degree. He doesn't have sensory issues but went through a brief phase of avoiding eye contact and covering his ears to avoid certain noises.

He's always functioned very well at pre school, with no more tantrums than the average 3 yr old, and joins in nicely, playing alongside other children, and now often with them, happily.

So we're in the same no mans land as a lot of people, in that ds1 is definitely not a typical 3 yr old, but he doesn't seem to fit any dx criteria easily either.. It's a headache!

smallwhitecat Sat 06-Jun-09 16:37:22

Message withdrawn

mumslife Sat 06-Jun-09 19:45:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumsobusy Sun 07-Jun-09 00:32:00

mumslife thank you for the msg it has been bothering me for quite a while now and I feel rather confused for I have read that children can be sociable and have eye contact. ds can also make a big deal in changing winter clothes to summer and repeats the same things over and over (e.g. we will be going to school and he will say is such and such there and I will answer but after 5-6 steps he will repeat himself again and I will say the same thing he will do this about 10 times), he is obsessed with all kind of ball games and will not play with anything else does not know how to play with cars I have to show him and make up a game for him so he can follow me, he follows and copies his friends rather than playing with them too, he covers his ears alot, hates shopping has big tantrums in busy shops does not know when he is warm or cold has sleep problems still does not sleep the whole night crys in sleep 4-5 times a night he is nearly 4 it should at least stopped by now. so when pschologist came I told her my concerns she wrote us off say he had some traits but not enough to dx because he had eye contact and he was sociable she said he also had behaviour problems. I thought he is too young to have behaviour problems. Even though I asked her I still dont know what she considers behaviour problems

Goblinchild Sun 07-Jun-09 09:16:05

AS children are often sociable, but they lack the understanding and awareness of social behaviour. So many want friends, but don't know how the conventions work. So you get monologuing, personal space invasion, imaginative play that only works when you're using inanimate objects that do exactly what you want them to rather that individuals that want a say in how things go, meltdowns when they don't win, and a need for the rules to be inflexible and unchanging and often set by the AS individual.
Not picking up on expressions, ambiguous language, all that jazz.
Behaviour problems, a favourite of mine.
My son has AS and didn't get a dx until he was 9. Had suspicions when he was 7ish. School found him a behavioural nightmare, but he was fine at home. Once we understood the AS, worked out his triggers and needs, the behaviour improved incredibly quickly. So it wasn't poor behaviour, it was a response to stimuli and situations that pushed him over the edge.
He's 14 now, mainstream and facing 9 or 10 GSCEs over the next two years. There are occasional problems, but so far, over the last 5 years we have always been able to trace the fuse that made the gunpowder go bang. There has always been an identifiable cause, whatever the reaction.
So maybe your psychologist needs to look a bit further.
Have you read Tony Attwood's guide to Asperger's Syndrome? I think it's the best one on the market for clarity of prose and practicality of advice.

mumslife Sun 07-Jun-09 13:26:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lingle Sun 07-Jun-09 13:36:04


Hopefully if you can continue to work on building up the clearest possible picture of his sensory and processing issues then keep working on his communication skills bearing the sensory/processing challenges in mind, this will keep you too busy to address the "is he or isn't he" question which can be a bit immobilising.

Alternatively see my recent post on Greenspan's article on misdiagnosis of ASD which he believes to happen a lot.

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